Trust mediation

Trust is a key factor when it comes to making an agreement between parties in negotiation or conflict. Reaching minimal levels of trust when parties ignore one another’s reputation is a gradual process resulting of analyzing utterances and mutual actions. We present a model for trust mediation between two parties named balance of trust  that represents the level of conjoint honesty and certainty between parties. We also use graphics to represent the balance of trust through a visual interface in a virtual mediator that attempts to persuade two strangers to trust each other in a competitive and excluding context. The persuasion mechanism depends directly on the interface design that shows both parties how far or close they are to reach optimal balance without compromising the asymmetry of the information. Results of exploratory experiments reveal that the interface reduces the time both parties take to cross the trust threshold, but, sometimes, it also constrains them due to the risks of being deceived. Experiments also showed some aspects of human morality that emerge with the possibility of deceiving or being deceived.


Published products

  • Developing trust through interfaces of cooperative persuasion (In Spanish) Paper

Our proposal is that the balance of trust between two parties is determined by the balance between honesty and certainty of mutual expectations. We define these two conditions as:

  • Honesty is the quality of saying or acting truthfully. The either sincere or misleading utterances or actions derive in honest or deceiving behaviors.
  • Certainty is the set of expectations related to what the other party says or does. One could have false expectations when one trust false statements.
Figura 1

The set A on the left side contains all the honest Ah and dishonest Ad statements that a player Alpha said in the context of a negotiation. Conversely the set B contains all the honest Bh and dishonest Bd statements that Beta said in the context of the same negotiation. Inside A there is a subset ‘b’ that contains what Beta believes is true ‘bc’ or false ‘bnc’ of what Alfa said. The subset ‘a’ represents the same on the other party: ‘ac’ is what Alpha believes is true of Beta, ‘anc’ what is false.

We compare the four intersecting subsets — honesty, dishonesty, true certainty and false certainty– and compute a numeric index that conveys how honest and certain were the parties.

This model of trust has been tested in videogames that explore the emergence of trust in competitive interactions. Please find the results here.

Screenshot of Treassure or KaBoom, a two-player videogame based on the balance of trust. Designed by Felipe Avendaño, Manuel Lenis and Jose Fonseca

Screenshot of Treassure or KaBoom, a two-player videogame based on the balance of trust. Designed by Felipe Avendaño, Manuel Lenis and Jose Fonseca